February 28/Press Release -- Many people think diet soft drinks are “the answer” to weight control, but they really should think again. They may or may not cause cancer, but the evidence is mounting that they lead to weight gain, rather than weight loss. Those who consume diet drinks regularly have a 200% increased risk of weight gain, and a 36% increased risk of pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, plus a 67% increased risk of diabetes. A study of over 400 people found those who drank two diet sodas per day had five times the increase in weight circumference as those who did not consume diet soda.

It seems it is hard to outsmart Mother Nature, as fooling the brain into thinking it is getting something sweet plays dirty tricks on the body’s metabolism. Artificial sweeteners disrupt the normal hormonal and neurological signals that control hunger and satiety (feeling full).  A study of rats that were fed artificially sweetened food showed that their metabolism slowed down, and they were triggered to consume more calories and gain more weight than rats fed sugar.

In another alarming study, rats offered the choice of cocaine or artificial sweeteners always picked the artificial sweeteners, even if the rats were previously programmed to be cocaine addicts.  The author of the study said that, “(t)he absolute preference for taste sweeteners may lead to a re-ordering in the hierarchy of potentially addictive stimuli, with sweetened diets…taking precedence over cocaine and possibly other drugs of abuse.”

The use of artificial sweeteners, as well as “food porn,” the sexy experience of sweet, fat and salt in your mouth, alters food preferences.  The palate shifts from being able to enjoy fruits and vegetables and whole foods to liking only the “sexy stuff.”Hormones and Your Health

From the February 28, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily News